Full disclosure: I’m 31 years old. I’m not yet a ‘fall risk’ according to any measure. However, I have fallen. I’ve even fallen and sustained major injuries.
Since I’ve been with Oasis and have learned facts about fall prevention and worked with older adults, I feel strongly that there are MANY things everyone of every age should think about to reduce the risk of a fall. Even when you are confident you can recover fully from a fall injury, crutches are the worst and should be avoided! I want to do anything I can to prevent a fall today and for the decades to come.
The article Bracing for the Falls of an Aging Nation in the New York Times highlights how scary a fall can be for an older adult. And I work with plenty of older adults for whom the fear of falling itself can be paralyzing. Every person wants to remain independent and managing the risk of falling is always a balance between living your life and not taking unnecessary risks. There are many unnecessary risks we can all avoid.
5 easy steps to reduce falls everyone of every age should know
- Never wear floppy slippers or flip-flops. Not around the house, not at the beach.
- Minimize the use of rugs. If you need a rug, make sure it has a sticky backing.
- Never use a ladder alone. ALWAYS have someone else watching you.
- Always turn lights on when you walk into a room- especially down stairs and outside.
- Don’t drink too much before bed. This will reduce trips to the bathroom at night when it’s easy to fall.
There are other things I do at my age that I think of as good fall prevention habits. I know it gets boring to hear about the importance of exercise, but I really look at staying fit and strong now as part of a life-long fall prevention plan. I never carry too much when I walk down stairs. I always need to see my feet. I wear the right shoes for the job. That doesn’t always mean I wear flat shoes, but I think about what I’m going to be doing during a day and dress accordingly.
I encourage everyone, of every age, to be aware of falls and to look around your house and environment and think about ways to prevent falls. Fight the good fight. In this case, it’s gravity.